The Different Types of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

Incidents of injury can be devastating: they can disable you, lead to significant medical expenses, and cause a loss in income. You'll be eligible for compensation for your injuries in a court of law if someone else is to blame for them. Seeking legal counsel from a personal injury lawyer can help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
One of the main factors debated in a personal injury case is negligence; the failure to meet proper standards of care. This article discusses the criteria for a personal injury case, various types of negligence, and whether or not they apply to you:

Criteria for a Personal Injury Case

You must prove that another party is responsible for your injury in the incident before dragging them to a court, or there is probable cause; something directly or indirectly ties another party. For a personal injury case to go forward, you must have suffered some form of injury; you can’t sue if someone’s negligence didn’t result in any significant harm.

Types of Negligence

The following types of negligence cases may occur:

1. Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence refers to a case where you are partially responsible for the injuries you have sustained. If it is proven that you also contributed to the incident leading to your injury, you’ll have to prove why you carry less blame than the other party and are not the leading cause of the incident. Here, you may only receive partial compensation as you share the fault.

An example of this is a car crash where both parties are driving recklessly, but one is slightly overspeeding, and the other is driving drunk. Here, the person overspeeding might be considered less negligent and may get compensated despite also breaking traffic rules.

2. Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence refers to a case where a significant part of the blame lies with you. Getting compensation is not easy in a case like this, and it may turn out that you owe the defendant compensation instead if they counter-sue. However, this form of negligence can still be enough in certain courts of law. This is done by leaning towards the comparative negligence discussed prior, where you prove you’re less than half responsible.

3. Gross Negligence

Gross negligence, also called criminal negligence, is a complete lack of regard for someone's safety. Proving that the other party was grossly negligent will get you a sizable compensation for your injuries.
If you can also confirm that the act of carelessness was intentional, you can also press charges of sabotage. Here, you’ll demonstrate that the defendant had no regard for road safety and that their actions alone caused the accident. You can apply the same logic to medical malpractice, where the negligence of a doctor may have exacerbated your condition. Another common example of criminal negligence is employers not providing the correct safety equipment to their employees, like in construction and manufacturing.

4. Vicarious Negligence

Sometimes, the cause of an incident may be a minor or a pet animal. In such cases, liability lies with the guardian of the minor or pet. This is vicarious negligence: the defendant is responsible for other people’s actions. An example of this is getting attacked by someone else’s dog. In a case like this, you would also have to prove that you didn’t provoke the animal to attack you.


Personal injury is not something that should be taken lightly. The stress of dealing with injuries, lengthy recovery times, and expensive bills are more than enough reasons to want monetary compensation for the other party’s negligence. Simply ignoring and not pressing charges can be a considerable loss to you. If you have suffered a significant injury, it is recommended to press charges.

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Posted - 12/21/2022